It’s that time of year again! Cast your ballot for the 2022-2023 VPhA Board of Directors! Take a look at the nominees this year!
Deadline to Submit is Friday, July 29, 2022. Check your inbox for the ballot for your region!
President – Elect
Farzana Kennedy has over twenty-five years of compounding and clinical pharmacy experience, most notably as the former owner and president of Alexandria Compounding Pharmacy. Farzana received her pharmacy degree from Howard University School of Pharmacy in 1996, and she is a fellow at the American College of Apothecaries.
Farzana also is the owner, president, and director of clinical operations of NewLeaf, a West Virginia medical cannabis operator. She is a founding member, past president, and pharmacist in charge of Dalitso LLC in Virginia, where she managed all cultivation, processing, and dispensary functions.
As a founding board member and the inaugural president of the Virginia Medical Cannabis Coalition (VMCC), Farzana worked to establish and expand Virginia’s medical cannabis program by being involved in the regulatory and legislative process. She is also the chair of the Virginia Pharmacist Association (VPhA) Academy of Medical Cannabis and provides Virginia pharmacists with cannabis industry training and education.
She has been appointed to the Northern Virginia Regional Human Rights Committee (NVRHRC). She is currently working with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services as a COVID-19 clinical pharmacist consultant for the mental health and substance use disorder population. She provides expertise and consulting services to crisis stabilization units in Virginia.
Farzana is a 2023 MS candidate at the University of Maryland Baltimore Graduate School Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program and is a member of several professional pharmacy and Cannabis organizations.
The Pharmacy professionals have provided and supported many critical steps for patients and communities during the pandemic. Pharmacists and technicians have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis. Virginia Pharmacy Association worked closely with its members and partnered with the Virginia Department of Health to support vaccinations and testing, especially in communities with hard-to-access services.
The pharmacy profession has expanded in Virginia under the VPhA leadership in many ways in the last few years. I want to serve on the VPhA Board to advance and represent pharmacy professionals in the state of Virginia. I have witnessed many dedicated and talented colleagues working tirelessly to advocate for the pharmacy profession. As the pharmacy profession continues to expand, it would be both humbling and an honor to work to promote pharmacy professionals in our state. As a pharmacist, I want to advocate for the valuable and unique role pharmacists, and technicians hold among our communities and healthcare teams in providing patient-focused pharmacy services.
Sharon Gatewood is an Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science, School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). In 2002, Sharon received her Pharm.D. from VCU School of Pharmacy and completed a Community Pharmacy Practice Residency at VCU in 2003. She is a Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist. After graduation she worked with Ukrop’s Pharmacy providing patient care service, including point of care testing, immunizations and travel health services. From 2006 to 2017, she worked with the VCU School of Pharmacy and Ukrop’s/Martin’s Pharmacy to develop enhanced patient care programs in Richmond, VA. Community pharmacy has been a passion for a while being able to work one on one with patients to improve their health outcomes. Currently, Sharon is a credentialed community-based pharmacist practitioner at Daily Planet Health Services, a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center for the Homeless. Sharon works with behavioral health patients to manage their medications as well as patients in the medication assisted treatment program. Sharon has been a preceptor for community pharmacy residents and student pharmacists since 2003.
Sharon is an active member of several professional organizations including APhA, AACP, and VPhA. She was a APhA-Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Executive Committee Member-at-large. Sharon has been a member of VPhA since she was a student pharmacist in 1999 and has served the association in several capacities. Sharon has been a part of the Meetings and Education committee for VPhA since 2002 and a served as a member and co-chair of this committee. She has helped to develop several Midyear and Annual Meetings by developing educational programming. For the past 20 years, Sharon has been involved in VPhA’s Legislative day by training and precepting students and pharmacy residents for legislative visits, providing patient care for this event, and meeting with legislators. Sharon has served as the Director for Region F and the Executive Committee on the VPhA Board of Directors since 2016. Also, she has served as Community Outreach Chair for Richmond Pharmacist Association.
In 2002, Dr. Gatewood received the Community Pharmacy Achievement Award and the 2011 Outstanding Mentor Award from Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Pharmacy. In 2010 the Distinguished Young Pharmacist award from Virginia Pharmacist Association. and VPhA Ed D. Spearbeck Virginia Pharmacist Service Award in 2013. She has also received the APhA-APPM Distinguished Service Award and given the honor of Fellow for APhA-APPM.
I would like to serve the Virginia Pharmacists Association as President-Elect to continue our work on uniting our profession and expanding our scope to help manage patients their medications and to improve their health.
During my career, I have continued to be involved in the profession through local, state, and national organizations. I feel that this is the way to make change in the profession. I have experience with leadership positions in both the Virginia Pharmacist Association and American Pharmacist Association. I bring experience and passion to lead the pharmacists, student pharmacists and technicians in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Now is an exciting time to be a pharmacist in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In the last few years, during my time on the VPhA Board of Directors, the pharmacist’s scope of practice in has been expanded through the approval of standing protocols allowing pharmacists to assess and prescribe needed medications for certain conditions. VPhA has led this initiative and I hope to continue to be a part of this progression as a leader in the association. We will build on our efforts during the pandemic to continue to enhance our profession while recognizing the challenges that still need to be addressed. I have been so proud to see all the hard work of pharmacists, student pharmacist and technicians in response to COVID-19. You are the reason that the Commonwealth of Virginia has been able to turn the corner on the pandemic!
I am honored to be nominated as president-elect and hope to serve you in this role. Thank you for the opportunity.
Nicara is originally from Chesapeake, VA and currently resides in Glen Allen, VA with her 13 year old son, AJ. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2002, Nicara attended VCU School of Pharmacy and earned her Pharm.D. degree in 2007. While attending school Nicara worked at the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital at Virginia Tech and as a Student Pharmacist with Walmart. Upon graduation Nicara worked at The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA in the inpatient pharmacy where she gained experience working in the PACU, PICU, and NICU. Several years later, Nicara moved to the Richmond, VA area and was Pharmacy Manager at Walmart pharmacy in Chesterfield, VA until relocating to the Walmart pharmacy in Short Pump. In 2012, Nicara was promoted to Market Health & Wellness Director for the Charlottesville, VA area. For the past 10 years, Nicara has remained in the same role with various territories including South Hill, Emporia, Harrisonburg, Covington with her current territory in the south of Richmond extending to Gloucester and Williamsburg, VA.
Nicara has remained involved with the local Richmond Pharmacists Association and has served as a Board Member for several years and President in 2017-18. Nicara has served on the legislative committee for VPhA for two years and has enjoyed attending previous VPhA conferences. In 2017, Nicara was a recipient of the “10 under 10” by VPhA Academy of New & Future Practitioners.
Nicara takes pride in encouraging involvement with pharmacy associations. She never passes up the opportunity to share her experiences to show that pharmacists have a voice and can impact change. She has had the honor of working with students at VCU School of Pharmacy over the years and was awarded the APhA-ASP Alumni Award in 2017-18 by the VCU Chapter. She was also recognized by the VCU Chapter of SNPhA and served as a guest speaker at an end of the year celebration.
I recognize the importance of community involvement in the pharmacy profession. It would be an honor to have the opportunity to serve as Secretary of the Virginia Pharmacists Association
Bobby Vincent, III, MS, PharmD, RPh is a Clinical Cannabinoid Pharmacotherapist born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Vincent is driven by a passion to bridge the medical cannabis industry with communities in need and advocating for pharmacists in the medical arena. Dr. Vincent currently serves the northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. metropolitan area as a regulatory affairs specialist, cannabis pharmacist and medical consult– providing care for hundreds of patients. Bobby lends his time serving on the Board of Directors for the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, as the Communications Chair for the Virginia Pharmacists Association’s Academy of Medical Cannabis and a member of the organizations Task Force for Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Bobby is a graduate of Hampton University where he obtained a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. This May he graduated with a Masters of Cannabis Science and Therapeutics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore – the first degree of its kind in the United States. Additionally, he maintains his conventional pharmacy skillset by working the bench at Costco Pharmacies across the Commonwealth. His combination of corporate cannabis experience, regulatory expertise, clinical training, patient care, and passion for change is an asset to the overall mission of VPhA. He has experienced a host of unique learning opportunities, including time abroad in Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and the Philippines as a medical volunteer serving patients in need. He uses his platform to advocate for the involvement of pharmacists in regulatory spaces and speaks to the importance of training the next generation of healthcare professionals, personally mentoring pharmacy students across the US. As an advocate, educator, and pharmacist, Bobby is enthusiastic about the evolution of medicine and the opportunities it continues to open up for patient care – the future of medicine is here.
Bobby seeks to serve the membership and Board of Directors as Secretary to provide a transparent light into the leadership of our beloved organization. Successfully compiling the views of the Board is a task that requires strong logistics, administration, organization and reporting skills – characteristics Bobby prides himself on. Bobby’s ability to contribute to the forward advancement of the Virginia Pharmacists Association has been noted in his continued commitment to the group, and his passion to actively participate is ever present. His upbeat, dynamic spirit would truly be an addition to our Board, and his past experiences speak to his ability to perform. In Dr. Vincent’s words, “It would truly be an honor to serve not only the Virginia Pharmacists Associations Board of Directors, but the membership, patients, and pharmacy profession as a whole.”
Region A (Lonesome Pine, Southwest Virginia)
Niki has been a member of VPhA since 1999. I have had the honor of serving as Region A director since 2020. I live in Bristol, and have worked as a pharmacy manager in the community retail setting with Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart for the past 18 years. I have enjoyed the autonomy Sam’s Club has afforded me and have had the opportunity to pilot and lead several programs for the company. Previously, I grew up an independent pharmacy, and worked throughout college and pharmacy school at both independent and chain retail pharmacies.
While serving as Region A director for the last two years, I have also had the pleasure to serve on the Membership and Marketing committee. While the board of directors meet for only a few hours once every quarter, some of the most active committees meet weekly or bi-weekly. The vast majority of the work done for VPhA is accomplished by the various committees and your president. Our state association has been changing and moving forward yet continues to struggle with activating and engaging the local chapters. The organizational structure and by-laws of the Association cause any change to be slow going. Our challenges are significant, and we must all work together to be the change we all desire. We have strong local legislators that support us at the state capitol. I want to continue to represent you, and have your voice heard in our Association. I need our local pharmacists and technicians who also hope for an active and inspiring local group to come forward. I will continue to work with Richmond to bridge the needs of our unique pharmacy practices here in Far Southwest Virginia with those of our diverse Commonwealth. I am grateful for your support and vote to represent you as Region A Director.
My name is William Hale. I am a second generation independent community pharmacist from Pulaski, VA. After graduating from the Virginia Military Institute in 2003 I went to North Carolina and enrolled in the inaugural class of the Wingate University School of Pharmacy. In 2007, my wife, Ashley, and I returned to our hometown and I began to work for Martin’s Pharmacy in Pulaski, VA. My father, Eddie Hale, purchased Martin’s Pharmacy in 1985 from Ralph and Henry Martin. Martin’s Pharmacy originally began as Seagle and Son’s Pharmacy in 1911 and was renamed Martin’s Pharmacy in 1942 after the Martin brothers acquired the business. Today Martin’s Pharmacy has three stand
alone locations; Dublin, VA, Pulaski, VA and Rural Retreat, VA serving their respective communities.
Being an independent community pharmacist, I realize how important it is to serve and give back to your community. My family may own Martin’s Pharmacy, but Martin’s belongs to our community. Martin’s Pharmacy is here to serve our community and ensure the citizens have access to quality and affordable pharmaceuticals and all necessary vaccines they may need. I also represent our community by serving on the executive board for the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for LewisGale Hospital Pulaski. This is a very rewarding position. I get to represent the citizens to the hospital, and the hospital back to its citizens, to ensure both sides see how a symbiotic relationship can be so rewarding for everyone. I also spend a lot of time volunteering with local youth athletics. Ashley and I have 4 children; Victoria (14), Emery Jane (12), Davis (11) and Jovie (3), who are all involved with a variety of activities that keep us on our toes. I am honored to be nominated to serve on the board for the Virginia Pharmacist Association and represent region A. If chosen, I plan to work to unify our profession and bring pharmacists together as a united front. The Virginia Pharmacist Association’s mission is to, “Assure the viability and vitality of the profession of pharmacy.” If elected I will be honored to carry out this mission.
Region D (Valley, Central Virginia, Northern Virginia)
Sarah is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Sarah has experience with providing clinical pharmacy services in a community pharmacy setting and a transition of care clinic. She will receive her Master of Public Health degree from Shenandoah University in August 2022.
Sarah received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Albany College of Pharmacy in 2004 and completed a Community Pharmacy Residency with Price Chopper Pharmacy and Albany College of Pharmacy in 2005.
Sarah is a proud member of VPhA and currently serves as the Director for Region D. She has served on the VPhA legislative, membership and awards committees. She was involved with the VPhA CPESN service set committee. Sarah enjoys organizing and attending VPhA’s Legislative Day with student pharmacists. She is currently a board liaison for the VPhA Meetings and Education Committee. Sarah has been recognized by VPhA for her dedication and service to the profession of pharmacy. In 2017, Sarah received the Ed D. Spearbeck Virginia Pharmacist Service Award; in 2013, she was recognized as a Top 10 under 10 New Practitioner and in 2008, she was recognized as the Distinguished Young Pharmacist.
Sarah is an active member of the American Pharmacists Association and American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. In 2019, Sarah was recognized as an APhA-APPM Fellow. She serves as the co-advisor for the Shenandoah University Chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists. She is actively engaged in her community, providing wellness and education activities at various community outreach events. She is an active member of her church community where she serves a lector, substitute for religious education, a member of the women’s group and organization coordinator for Walking with Purpose.
Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband, Mishal and two children, Aiden and Hannah.
She has enjoyed all of her experiences within VPhA and networking with pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and student pharmacists from around the state. As a Board member, Sarah would continue to work to further advance the opportunities for pharmacy within the state of Virginia. VPhA members should be proud of all of the accomplishments that have been made to advance the practice of pharmacy in Virginia. As a board member, Sarah would continue to advocate for VPhA members. As a faculty member, Sarah is able to bring the perspective of fellow colleagues and student pharmacist to discussions. She is looking forward to meeting more members within the region and continuing to help pharmacists understand the value of being a member of VPhA
David Christian, is the Pharmacy Director for Central Virginia Health Services, Inc. (CVHS), Virginia’s first and largest federally qualified health center (FQHC) consisting of 20 clinics, serving over 48,000 patients across Virginia. He is responsible for the administration of two in-house pharmacies, 100+ contract pharmacies, integrated pharmacy services, case-study management, the pharmacy and therapeutics committee, pharmacy preceptor programs, 340B compliance and referral capture.
As pharmacy director of CVHS, David oversees the operation of all pharmacy issues. He has initiated a FQHC pharmacy directors gathering that meets annually and communicates more frequently as needed. He is an advocate on the state and federal levels for FQHCs, 340B, and Medicaid reimbursements. David began to conduct formal medication therapy management in Virginia in 2006. He is leading an effort to expand pharmacy away from the traditional dispensing role to develop an approach of collaboration with all departments—including, but not limited to, medical, dental, behavioral health, and nutrition. In 2017 David established the clinical pharmacy program at Central Virginia Health Services. Currently 7 pharmacists are practicing clinically at CVHS managing diabetic patients, complex compliance issues, annual wellness visits and Hepatitis C, HIV PrEP and HIV Treatment. CVHS Pharmacies are currently undergoing URAC and ACHC accreditation for Specialty and Mail Order. David also serves as a faculty member for Apexus 340B University and as Chair of the Apexus FQHC Advisory Council. His professional interests are quality improvement and positive patient outcomes, and obtaining provider status for pharmacist from CMS.
David is also the president of CHC Pharmacy Partners, Inc. which provides a remote pharmacy solution for 340B Covered Entities, operational consultation, and referral processing. Through economies of scale CHC Pharmacy Partners decreases overhead expenses and maximizes profitability for Health Centers, Hospitals and STD grantees. CHC Pharmacy Partners also provides pharmacy accounting, 340B compliance and monthly reports to the management team.
David received his bachelor’s degree in business management/finance from Emory and Henry College in Emory in 1988, Virginia, and his bachelor of pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia in 1995. He was awarded a Doctor of Pharmacy from the state of Tennessee in 1995.
Thank you for the nomination. It would be an honor to serve On the VPhA Board of Directors. My entire career has been dedicated to increasing the impact pharmacists have on patient care. I do not believe practicing clinically is limited to the clinic setting. From the beginning of pharmacy practice, pharmacists have been a resource for the patient who are available, able and willing to help. I have 20 years of retail experience and 7 years of clinic experience. If elected, I hope to bring a spirit of collaboration to patient care. Pharmacists have better patient access and the knowledge necessary to affect change. We have demonstrated the worth of pharmacists in the clinic setting to both reduce the burden on the medical providers and produce better patient outcomes. My goal is to work with other pharmacists across the commonwealth and nationally to continue to build programs and eventually obtain provider designation from CMS for pharmacists.
Region F (Richmond)
Dr. Alexis Page completed her pharmacy education in 2018 when she graduated from The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. Alexis then completed a PGY-1 Community-Based Pharmacy Residency Program with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Kroger Pharmacy in Richmond, Virginia. In collaboration with VCU and Kroger Pharmacy, Alexis then created the first Community-Based Pharmacy Management and Leadership Fellowship and subsequently completed this fellowship in 2020. After completing her fellowship, Alexis became a pharmacy manager at Kroger Pharmacy and residency site coordinator for VCU’s PGY-1 Community-based Pharmacy Residency Program. Alexis is now a Pharmacist Manager at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) where she co-leads the COVID-19 Therapeutics Program for all pharmacies and providers in Virginia. Alexis enjoys spending time with her fiance, two cats and dog in her free time.
I am honored to be nominated to sit on the Virginia Pharmacists Association (VPhA) Board of Directors. I have been an active member of VPhA for 4 years, having served on or led the Government Affairs committee for all 4 years. I have a strong passion for policy and practice change and would like the opportunity to advocate for all VPhA members and pharmacists in Virginia on behalf of the association.
Region G (Chesapeake, Peninsula)
It has been an honor to serve on the VPhA Board of Directors. I hope to use the experience I have gained through engagement with pharmacists throughout the Commonwealth to continue the work we have identified as priorities to promote our profession. Our pharmacists work selflessly and tirelessly to take care of the patients in their communities, and VPhA serves an important supporting role in that endeavor.
Patty Robinson graduated from the Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy in 1978 and began her pharmacy career in an independent pharmacy at Providence Forge Cardinal in New Kent, Virginia. Since the start of her career, she has been an active member of VPhA serving on the Board of Directors, the Membership and Marketing Committee, Academy of Workplace Wellbeing, and the Scope of Practice Tobacco Cessation Workgroup. She is on the Board of Directors for CPESN VA, serving as a support contact and assisting participating pharmacies to ensure they meet the national standards. Additionally, she is a coach for Flip the Pharmacy and involved in CDC TIPS Smoking Cessation Campaign. With the large majority of her career in independent practice, she has also been involved in the Academy of Independent Pharmacists where she is currently a board member and secretary. Patty has completed the APhA certificate programs in Immunizations, Diabetes, Medication Therapy Management, and Cardiovascular Disease Management to further her ability to best serve her patients. She lives in New Kent County with her husband, Paul, and has three children and four grandchildren. She is a member of Providence Forge Presbyterian Church where she is an elder and is chairman of the Christian Education Committee, and is actively involved in the New Kent Junior Woman’s Club.
Carman Silver is a 2006 graduate of Hampton University School of Pharmacy. After graduation, Carman spent 12 years as a community pharmacist, where she was involved in the execution of several clinical wellness programs. Her current roles include academia, focusing on Ambulatory Care and Diabetes Management in underserved populations, and community retail pharmacy. Being a member of VPhA has allowed Carman to become actively engaged in the progression of the pharmacy profession locally. With the opportunity to serve on the VPhA Board of Directors, she will be able to impact the pharmacy profession with the ultimate goal of ensuring safe and optimal healthcare outcomes for all patients in Virginia.
Region H (Fourth District, Tri-County, Old Belt)
Leigh Hester is a graduate of Mary Washington College (1991) and Virginia Commonwealth University (1994). She was born and raised in Chesterfield, Virginia with a passion for helping others that flowed from her mother who had her BSN and her grandfather who practiced medicine as a surgeon. Leigh began her career with various chain pharmacies until she found her calling as an independent pharmacist. She is currently the PIC at Family Pharmacy Amelia in Amelia, Virginia. She is especially motivated to educate her patients about the heinous practices of PBMs and to push for legislative reform on the state as well as the federal level. She was a 2020 APhA delegate for the state of Virginia, she is a member of the VPhA governmental affairs committee, a member of CPESN, and a member of NCPA. In her free time she loves to garden and spend time outdoors, singing with the choir at her church, and spending time with her family and pets.
Thank you for this opportunity to work with the VPhA and pharmacists in the state of Virginia.
Pharmacists have been given a brilliant opportunity to shine during COVID-19 and shine we have. We must continue to push for recognition and provider status in order for our profession to remain viable in the coming years. I can’t wait to get started and be a part of that.
Michelle Harmon is a 2003 graduate of Hampton University School of Pharmacy. She began her career as a pharmacy technician in 1994 and worked her way through pharmacy school married with two children. Upon graduation in 2003 she became PIC at the Farm Fresh Pharmacy she h
ad worked as an intern. In 2005 she became district manager of Farm Fresh Pharmacies until 2015. Throughout this time she supervised the operations of up to 38 pharmacies. She worked in retail management until 2021 when she decided to change directions and is now working as a Clinical Specialty Pharmacist with Sentara. Michelle has served as a preceptor for both Hampton University and VCU Schools of Pharmacy. She loves mentoring upcoming pharmacists and sharing her passion for patient care.
Michelle has been President of the Tri-County chapter of VPhA since graduation from pharmacy school. She is also a member of the Academy of Workplace Well Being and is currently secretary of Academy of Medical Cannabis. In addition to this, Michelle has been a member of the American Diabetes Association Volunteer Community Leader Board for over 10 years, attending Call to Congress on 3 occasions to advocate for diabetes funding and research.
She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Greg, for 27 years and has two adult children. Her free time is spent watching her son play college baseball and reading.
Michelle hopes to be elected to serve on the Board of Directors to advocate for the future of pharmacy including improving workplace conditions in retail pharmacy.